Forward Will Hudson scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds as Oakland outmuscled the T-Bird men's basketball team 82-68 in a physical battle inside the Centrum Arena Saturday night.
With the loss, the T-Birds finish conference play with a 7-12 record, which places SUU as the No. 8 seed in the Summit League tournament. SUU will face the Golden Grizzlies in a rematch for the opening round game March 5.
SUU head coach Roger Reid said he believed the T-Birds lost because of their lack of hustle in the game. He said that would change next week.
"I didn't think we played that hard," he said. "If (Oakland head coach Greg Kampe) thought it was physical, I hope it will be a lot more physical because we're going to play a whole lot harder in the next game."
SUU jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening 3 minutes of the game with a pair of uncontested fast break baskets. The lead grew to 22-17 with 6:10 remaining in the first half.
However, the Golden Grizzlies (21-9, 17-1 Summit League) closed the first half on a 21-2 run after the 6:10 mark of the half. Oakland led 38-24 at halftime.
Oakland then led the rest of the way for the easy victory.
Forward Ramell Taylor led SUU with 15 points and eight rebounds, while forward Jackson Stevenett added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Taylor said the team got ahead early and started easing its pressure in the first half, which cost the team the win.
"We forgot that Oakland is a team that knocked off Tennessee," he said. "To beat a team like this, we have to bring our A game with no mistakes and we had too many mistakes ... they're a great team no doubt about it."
SUU shot 43 percent from the floor and held Oakland to just 38 percent shooting, but the Golden Grizzlies outrebounded the T-Birds 49-37, including 20-12 on the offensive glass.
"They were just playing aggressive," Taylor said. "We knew it was going to be a physical game ... we know what they're capable off now."
Oakland also went to the free throw line 23 more times than SUU.
Reid said the combination of fouling and poor offensive execution cost the T-Birds in the game.
"They shot 38 percent, but when you put people to the line 38 times — I just didn't think we play good defense," he said. "I didn't think we executed — the two things we had been doing well."
The T-Birds forced 18 turnovers and outscored the Golden Grizzles 22-8 in points off turnovers.
Guard Ryan Brimley shot 3-of-6 from 3-point range on his way to scoring 12 points on Senior day.
Oakland center Keith Benson added 13 points and 11 rebounds for his conference-leading 19th double-double.
The Golden Grizzlies led by as much as 25 points with 14:31 left in the game.
SUU forwards Matt Massey and Jake Nielson each picked up technical fouls in the game.
The T-Birds will return to action next Saturday for the opening round of the conference tournament. Tipoff time against the No. 1 seed Oakland is yet to be scheduled.
"They've beat us twice but I'll put my money on us on the third try," Taylor said. "We know it's three times and your out for us."